Kodi Bear Fancied For Celebration Mile

Goodwood

Kodi Bear is a rapidly improving animal and has a terrific chance in the Celebration Mile.

Inaugurated as a Group3 event in 1967, it was elevated to it’s present status in 1977 and features most of the top milers of the last four and a half decades, including the mighty Brigadier Gerard, Mark of Esteem, and Ravens Pass on its roll of honour. The classic generation have been the most successful age group, collecting in thirty two of the fourty seven renewals since its inception. Of Saturday’s trainers, only John Gosden has previously hit the back of the net, (Mutathir, 1998 and Ravens Pass, 2008) but Roger Charlton,represented by Captain Cat at the weekend, has had two placed from only three runners in the past decade. David Simcock,s only runner over the same period was placed, and James Fanshawe has had one placed from four attempts.

The Gosden runner this time is the 3yo Richard Pankhurst, and he will be trying to emulate his sire Ravens Pass. On only his second racecourse appearance, at Royal Ascot in June last year, he looked an outstanding prospect, when beating the very useful Toscanini by nearly four lengths, earning a rating of 116. He hasn’t been seen since, but coming from this yard, a fourteen months absence may be no bar to success. However with the weekends weather outlook in mind, it is worth remembering that his sires offspring much prefer top of the ground conditions, and a waiting brief is advised.

The patriarch of the Hills clan, Barry, won the race three times in the eighties and nineties, is unrepresented in this years renewal, but son Charles, who is having such an outstanding season, holds a strong hand with the 3yo Dutch Art colt, Dutch Connection, and the 4yo Cable Bay. Both have strong course form so the idiosyncratic track shouldn’t pose a problem to either, but soft ground would probably be a negative for the three year old. As the ground, at the time of writing is soft and the meteorological forecast is changeable, the stables best chance may lie with Cable Bay. He was probably given too much to do when held up in midfield in the 7f Hungerford Stakes three weeks ago, and finished fourth, but a reproduction of his run in the 1m Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May would make him a serious contender. Held up out the back by Jamie Spencer, he ran on well in the final furlong, finishing fifth about a length and a half behind the top class Night Of Thunder. One for the shortlist!

Another trainer enjoying a good season is Clive Cox, and his 3yo colt Kodi Bear is a rapidly improving animal. Having finished second in the Group1 Dewhurst Stakes in his last race as a 2yo, he was all the rage on his belated reappearance in a listed race at Windsor at the end of June, but had to work quite hard to collect on the good to firm ground. Thrown in at the deep end in a Gp1 at Chantilly a fortnight later, he was well beaten, but may have found the race coming too soon. Given a four and a half week break, he destroyed a decent field in a Sailsbury Gp3 three weeks ago. This progressive colt will handle soft conditions at the weekend and looks the one to beat.

Olly Stevens’ 4yo colt, Lightning Spear is by pivotal so will appreciate any easing of conditions on Saturday, a point emphasised by his staying on fourth in a Gp1 in testing conditions at Deauville three weeks ago. Only his fourth start on turf, he stayed on well going down by 1 1/2L, 1 1/2L, Nse, to Esoterique, Territories, and Wild Chief. He is another on an upward curve, and given holding ground at the weekend could well be in the mix.

Selection: Kodi Bear.

E.W. : Lightning Spear.

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Ebor Handicap Betting Tips 1m6f York Saturday

Aidan O'Brien

Aidan O’Brien provides the favourite for this year’s renewal with his 3yo Galileo colt Fields Of Athenry, and judging by his last two runs deserves his position as market leader.

Neither of our selections in last week’s Gp2 Hungerford Stakes got a run in a contest that cut up badly due to ground conditions. As the race was won in a time only four seconds slower than standard the going can’t have been that bad, so perhaps some were over hasty in withdrawing their runners. Having said that the winner, Adday, won in taking fashion, and may well progress to win at the top level. Hopefully there won’t be any dramatic changes to the York surface resulting in a similar mass withdrawal from Saturday’s feature, The Ebor Handicap.

Aidan O’Brien provides the favourite for this year’s renewal with his 3yo Galileo colt Fields Of Athenry, and judging by his last two runs deserves his position as market leader. He didn’t make his racecourse debut until last October, where he finished seventh in a seven furlong Cork maiden. He reappeared on the all weather at Dundalk in May and duly won an 11f maiden easily. Given a rating of 99 and conceding 22lbs to the winner he was beaten 1L in a valuable Down Royal handicap over 1m4f. He started joint favourite for a 1m6f listed race at Leopardstown four weeks later and won impressively, beating the useful Dermot Weld trained filly, and joint favourite, Silwana by ten lengths. Dropped back to 1m4f for a Gp3 three weeks later, he put another useful Weld inmate, the progressive Edelpour to the sword. Three year olds don’t figure in recent renewals of this great handicap, being unexposed they fail to get sufficient weight to qualify, but it is worth noting that O’Brien is the one trainer to have bucked this trend. He handled the last three year old winner, Mediterranean, in 2001,and went close with Changingoftheguard, (2009) the last of the classic generation to get a run in the race. Fields Of Athenry looks a highly progressive animal who will be particularly well suited by Saturday’s trip, and despite his burden of 9st7lbs is short listed.

Tony Martins 6yo gelding Quick Jack showed plenty of pace when winning The Galway Hurdle three weeks ago, and will be well served by, what is likely to be a strongly run race, here on the Knavesmire. He was beaten only 3/4L by the subsequent Ascot Gold Cup winner, Trip to Paris, to whom he was conceding 6lbs, in this year’s Chester Cup. As he went down by a similar distance in last year’s Caesarawich it may be that he has not been quite getting home over these extreme distances and could be suited by Saturday’s trip. A slight reservation would be the poor record of horses older than five but coming from this yard it would be no surprise to see him involved at the business end.

Amanda Perrett, who won with Give The Slip in 2000, and whose father, Guy Harwood won it twice in the eighty’s, fields a likely type in the 4yo Sea The Stars colt, Astronereus. He ran two fine races over 1m4f this year at Newmarket and Royal Ascot, but it was his performance over course and distance in July that really catches the eye. Racing off a mark of 102 he was headed inside the final furlong, but digging deep, he was actually going away at the finish. Last time at Goodwood, (1m6f) a course that doesn’t suit him, he finished a very satisfactory third, beaten a couple of necks, again finding plenty at the finish of a mark of 107. This thoroughly genuine horse would be a most deserving winner if managing to defy the same mark at the weekend, and is another for the shortlist.

Hughie Morrison’s 4yo gelding, Fun Mac has been given an easy time of it since his gallant defeat by Clondaw Warrior at Royal Ascot. He was outstayed by the Mullins horse over the extreme 2 1/2 mile trip going down by 1/2L, and is now 4lbs better off. As Clondaw Warrior went on to collect a valuable 1m4f at Galway off a 7lbs higher mark the form looks good, so expect a top showing from the Morrison horse, who will be well suited by Saturday’s trip.

Luca Cummani’s 5yo Dubawi gelding, Ajman ran well on his first attempt at the trip when finishing a nose behind Astronereus in the Goodwood race. Despite not getting the run of the race he was staying on well at the finish. As he meets the Perrett horse on similar terms on the Knavesmire we can expect it to be close between them, but perhaps Astronereus’ course form may prove decisive.

Selection: Fields Of Athenry

EW: Astronereus

Hungerford Stakes Betting Tips Gp2 7f Newbury Saturday

Hungerford Stakes Gp2 7f Newbury Saturday

Having his first run for nearly five months, Charlie Appleby’s 4yo Dubawi colt Safety Check put up a fine performance when finishing 3rd to Toormore and Dutch Connection at Goodwood a fortnight ago.

In a field that cut up badly on the day, last week’s tip, Intilaaq, was returned at a very disappointing S.P, but you have to say that the manner of his victory was most impressive. He looked as if he might have a fight on his hands at the 2f marker when the very talented Master Craftsman ranged up to him, but asked to go about his business he quickened in striking fashion and soon put the race to bed. He is certainly one to keep on the right side of wherever he goes next, and what a prospect he must be for all the top middle distance races next year.

With honours pretty evenly shared between three and four year olds over the past thirty five years, Hugo Palmer’s well named 3yo Starspangledbanner colt, Home of the Brave, looks very interesting in Newbury’s Gp2 7f contest. Having won the 7f Free Handicap at Newmarket in April, he failed to stay in the 2000gns, finishing sixth to Gleneagles. Dropped back to 6f at Royal Ascot, he didn’t have the pace to cope with the principles, and again finished sixth. Back up to what seems to be his optimum trip of 7f in the Gp3 Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh last time, he was very impressive beating that good yardstick Gordon Lord Byron, by 3 1/2L in a very good time for the conditions. Saturday’s 7f contest looks ideal, and this fast improving colt is shortlisted.

If Henry Candy’s 3yo Tagula gelding Limato sees out the 7f trip he will be a danger to all. Exclusively campaigned at 6f, he has won five of his seven starts, but perhaps his best performance was last time, when finishing second, albeit beaten 3 3/4L, by the triple Gp1 winner Muhaarar. There is plenty of encouragement in his pedigree to suggest that the extra furlong will be within his compass, particularly on the distaff. His 79 rated dam won over 10 furlongs, and is half sister to Votary, who won over 11f, and to Authorization who has won a hurdles race over 19f. He does like top of the ground conditions, so any rain would be a negative.

Classic hopes were entertained when John Gosden’s Richard Pankhurst trotted up at Royal Ascot last year on his second appearance. Put away for the rest of the season, he was reportedly working well in the spring when sustaining a stress fracture, and has been given plenty of time to recover. With positive vibes emanating from the Newmarket gallops, it would be no surprise to see this well bred Ravens Pass colt begin to fulfil his potential. It is worth remembering however that his sire’s offspring invariably like top of the ground conditions, so a waiting brief is advised.

Richard Hannon’s Toormore is more likely to take up his French option this weekend, so the yard will be hoping his half brother, Estidhkaar can bring home the bacon. Beaten only a neck in the 7f Greenham Stakes over the course by the superb, subsequent triple Gp1 winning Muhaarar, in April, he went of a 6/1 shot for the 2000gns but didn’t get home. Reverting to 7f on Saturday, a repeat of his Greenham run would see him in with a serious chance.

Having his first run for nearly five months, Charlie Appleby’s 4yo Dubawi colt Safety Check put up a fine performance when finishing 3rd to Toormore and Dutch Connection at Goodwood a fortnight ago. Giving 4lbs to Toormore, and 11lbs to the runner up, the Appelby colt was only beaten a diminishing 3/4L and a head in this Gp2 contest. Only penalised 2lbs for his Gp2 successes at Meydan and likely to have come on for the Goodwood race, he is another for the short list.

If the ground softens at the weekend, Andrew Balding’s 5yo Danehill Dancer gelding, Here Comes When, would be worth a second look. He won a soft ground Gp2 contest at Headquarters last October in impressive style from another of Saturday’s opponents, Cable Bay, to whom he was conceding 6lbs. He avoids a Gp2 penalty for the Hungerford by just thirteen days, so will meet Cable Bay on 6lbs better terms, and his fourth in the Gp1 Sussex stakes last time out is another definite plus, so keep a weather eye out!

Selection: Safety Check.

EW: Home of the Brave

Rose of Lancaster Stakes Gp3 1m 2 1/2 f Haydock Saturday

Roger Varian

Roger Varian’s progressive looking Dynaformer colt Intilaaq could well Saturday’s big race at Haydock.

I hope you were on last week’s selection, Magical Memory, the very tidy winner of The Stewards Cup. Returned at 6/1, he was available at the time of writing at a very tasty 14/1, so let’s hope we can keep the ball rolling this week in Saturday’s Rose of Lancaster Stakes.

Three year olds have won fifteen of the twenty eight renewals of this 1m 2 1/2 f contest since its inception in 1986, and Roger Varian’s progressive looking Dynaformer colt Intilaaq could well improve on their record. Having won his maiden at Newbury in April, he disappointed in the 2000gns, finishing fifteenth behind Gleneagles, but came good last time on his first attempt at the distance when winning a listed race at Newbury in very taking fashion. Now stepped up to pattern company for the first time this very well bred colt, (his dam won the French 1000gns) is of definite interest at the weekend. The only caveat would be the weather as his trainer feels that he would be unsuited by anything worse than good, so a waiting brief is advised.

The John Gosden trained Mahsoob is in the same ownership as Intilaaq, and based on his win in the 1m2f Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot off a mark of 106 is of interest. He disappointed last time in the 1m4f Gp2 Prince of Wales stakes at Newmarket when sent off favourite. He clearly didn’t get the trip and finished 6th, 6L behind the subsequent Goodwood Cup winner Big Orange. Returned to his optimum trip, (has won three times over 1m2f) at the weekend he is well worth considering.

Mostly campaigned at shorter, the Rod Millman trained 4yo Master Craftsman, conclusively proved his stamina credentials, when winning the hugely valuable, and highly competitive, John Smith handicap at York. Run over 1m 2 1/2 f he held on bravely to win by a neck, off a mark of 104. The ground at York was good, but he does like to get his toe in, (he won a Gp3 on gd/sft at Chantilly last year) so may well have his ideal conditions on Saturday. Having had a nice break since his York win, he does seem to have a lot in his favour at the weekend and is shortlisted.

In typical Mark Johnston fashion, the tough Fire Fighting’s nose has been kept close to the grindstone for the last two months, but he showed no signs of staleness when running another fine race at Goodwood last week. He was beaten less than 1 1/2L when running on resolutely behind the talented Mount Logan, to whom he was conceding 8lbs (1m2f gd/sft), and although seemingly held on some collateral lines of form, it would be no surprise to see him involved at the business end on Saturday.

Saeed Bin Suroor’s 6yo Clon Brulee ran well in a group3 over an inadequate 1m1f on soft ground at Newmarket last October, where he finished a running on 4th of 13 beaten 3L. He does like an easy surface, and back over a more suitable trip he could get involved.

Sir Michael Stoute, who has won the race three times, is represented by the relatively lightly raced 4yo Munaaser. He had been mostly campaigned at around a mile, but in his last race at Goodwood, one week ago, he looked as if he would be well suited by further. Held up towards the rear in a Cl2 handicap over a mile, he ran on strongly to get within 4 1/2 L of the winner. By the Derby winner New Approach, out of a mare who stayed a mile there is plenty of encouragement in his pedigree to suggest that Saturday’s trip should suit, so coming from this stable is worth keeping an eye on.

Selection : Intilaaq. (if absent : Master Craftsman)

E.W. : Clon Brulee.